We’ve talked about how the growing charging network makes running an EV easier than ever, and also how you can charge at home, but when you’re out on the road the issue that occupies many drivers is getting the most out of the EV range of their car before needing to plug in.
Not only will getting more miles out of the battery mean even cheaper running costs, but it means you’ll spend less time recharging and more time enjoying the drive than worrying about your EV range. And that has to be good news, right? We certainly think so, which is why we’ve taken a closer look at the best ways to stretch that electric range as far as possible.
First up is driving style. An obvious one perhaps, but while the punchy acceleration offered by many electric vehicles is fun to experience you’ll drain the battery much faster. So go easy on the throttle pedal and you’ll travel much further. The same goes for high speeds, so take it a little slower on the motorway, and if you can plan a route that avoids high-speed roads and steep hills you’ll eke out even more miles from every kWh.
You can improve range while slowing down, too, by making maximum use of an EV’s regenerative braking capability. Many models allow the levels of regeneration to be adjusted, so picking the strongest setting – potentially allowing ‘one-pedal’ driving where you barely need touch the conventional brakes – will see more power returned to the battery.
It’s well worth thinking about the use of heating and air-conditioning systems, too. We wouldn’t advocate driving while feeling unpleasantly hot or cold, but things like using heated seats rather than the main heater can conserve battery power.
So you’re driving more gently and making full use of your EVs efficiency features, but what else can you do? Well, you can keep an eye on those same things that can help improve economy in a petrol or diesel car, such as making sure tyre pressures are spot-on to reduce unnecessary rolling resistance. Not carrying additional weight will help, too, so clear all that clutter out of the boot.
Which brings us to looking after the battery itself. Maintaining it at peak efficiency and reducing the risk of degradation means it will retain maximum range, so avoid letting it go almost flat and, in everyday driving, it’s best to just charge the battery to 80% capacity. This is not only quicker but helps prolong its life, and you can always top-up to 100% when you’ve a long journey ahead.
Follow our advice and it should help you travel further even when the chilly weather does arrive. In the meantime enjoy every mile!
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